Cymen's 20G tall

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Cymen, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I modified the DIY GFO reactor. The pump I was using had a little insert to step down to roughly the same diameter as R/O tubing. So I used that at first. A couple days ago, I removed that insert and used some 1/2" tubing. That increased the flow and the GFO is tumbling now and there is a ripple on top of the water so the flow should be decent.

    I'm going to use it for a while and see if it hardens or stays in particles. I figure if it stays in particles, should be good. I did notice a little bit of GFO leaks on startup. I put it up in the tank so I could observe it under water and saw that. But I'll leave it in the sump. I had a few minor spills too. I think I can clean these up if I get some small tubing to use as a siphon. Or maybe one of the crazy strong magnets would work (not long term, just glue it to a chop stick and pass it over the spills for cleanup).
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  2. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    And of course some photos:


  3. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After watching the BRS video on GFO, I know my tumbling is not optimal. It's not all of the media tumbling. I need that bottom up flow to get it doing that. I'm going to go get some more supplies and try DIYing a bottom up flow one. Or I'll give up and order :).
  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    If you add the carbon you don't need it to tumble so much because the pieces of gfo aren't touching as much.
  5. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I actually don't have any carbon. I could scavenge some from the HOB filter as it came with a few extra cartridges. Next time I open it up, I'll put some in although might not be much in the cartridges.

    I made the next version:

    P6123260-2.jpg P6123261-2.jpg P6123262-2.jpg P6123263-2.jpg P6123264-2.jpg P6123265-2.jpg P6123266-2.jpg P6123267-2.jpg P6123268-2.jpg

    I didn't realize that the slightly opaque cup that is double-walled would make seeing the tumbling action so difficult! So next version, has to be clear and ideally single walled. I also thought about it more and realized a flat bottom with drilled holes would be better than a single ring of holes around an angled surface like I've got here on the funnel. But I think this is slightly better and I might be able to tune it (if I could see better) with more/less GFO.

    I'll go hunt down the brightest flashlight I have and see if I can get a better view.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  6. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I used a lamp and got a slightly better view in. It looks like maybe too rapid a tumble but I think it's good for now. Anticipating changing the GFO after a week. I'll save the old GFO but with a baby and a small tank, probably won't get into recharging it (so it'll get tossed or given away eventually).
  7. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Version 2 of the DIY GFO as outlined above failed. The support at the top of the canister was not strong enough for the force of the hose pulling to the side. I wrapped the whole thing in hosiery as a failsafe so I didn't leak too much GFO.

    I almost threw in the towel and bought a commercial reactor. But...

    Today, I made version 3. I picked up an acrylic cup with one of those acrylic straws and a screw on top. I got it at a resale store for $1 although I saw the same thing at the "99 cents only" store for a $1. I used the funnel from version 2 at the bottom. I had to cut it down and redrill the holes as the bottom of the new cup is smaller. Then I picked up some 1/2" PVC pieces at Home Depot and rigged it up:


    The GFO seems to be tumbling fairly well (it's not running in the photo of course). Unexpected bonus is the acrylic straw was perfect for use in my ATO to replace the cheap thin straw I was using for pickup. It has an o-ring on it to prevent it coming all the way up which should show down our baby.

    I also picked up some cheap toothbrushes and used one to clean off the rock after picking what I could by hand. Then I cleaned off the two hermits that had hair algea fros.

    I should change the GFO after a month, right?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  8. Roc

    Roc Guest

    I have a 2 little fishes GFO reactor if you wanta buy it, Ill sell it for 30 bucks
    Cymen likes this.
  9. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Thanks but I think my 3rd attempt is doing well! I appreciate the offer though.
  10. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Oh, and for update: 3rd DIY GFO reactor seems to be working well. I need a slightly more powerful pump or the hosiery is getting clogged with the initial sediment (going to clean it tomorrow and find out). No huge change in the tank but the hair algae isn't coming back quickly. The bits I couldn't get off the hermits are growing but on the rock itself, I still only see patches of light green (which is what the two spots where I used a toothbrush to clean off the rock also look). So hopefully the GFO reactor will continue to suck out the phosphates. I'm working on feeding more of the Mysis and less dry pellets.
  11. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After another dump of GFO due to the lid coming off v2 of my GFO reactor, I ran out of patience and got a Two Little Fishies reactor. I was a bit surprised I still needed to put some filter floss in up top to prevent GFO coming out. I get it is designed for multiple types of things to be used in the reactor but I somewhat assumed it would come with screens/sponges appropriate for GFO. But it doesn't -- the screens have huge holes and the sponges are very open. It is working fine with filter floss.

    I am running the Two Little Fishies GFO reactor with a Cobalt Aquatics MJ600. That works but I have to slow down the flow and it makes the pump noisy. So it would be nice to have a lower flow pump. But at least now I can have the tank water stable in terms of being passed through the GFO for long periods of time (which seems to be key to the whole thing).

    I cleaned the sump! I thought it was smart to toss all my extra rocks/rubble in the sump. But it made cleaning it a huge chore and I suspect made a great place for crud to build up. I removed all of the rock pieces and rubble. Siphoned out the GFO, tossed a filter sock on the tank return (going to take it off after the next tank cleaning) and then left it rock-free. This should be much easier to regularly clean.

    Algae report: definitely more low level algae however it is not very green so I think it spread for a bit but now hopefully with GFO it'll die off. I am feeding less dry food at each feeding. I had the light cycle off for a while but turned it back to normal to see if the algae grows. Next cleaning, I'll use the toothbrush to clean the rock and see how alive the algae is.
  12. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    My tank went through an algae phase that I couldn't seem to get rid of. I got a yellow tang and haven't seen anything since.
    Cymen likes this.
  13. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I used a tooth brush to clean the rock. I found one small patch (maybe 6-8mm) of thick green algae. The rest was very pale. There was a lot of brown crud on the rocks. Maybe remnants of the diatom bloom? The rock is looking a lot better after the cleaning. Three of the hermit crabs are still sporting algae on their shells. That algae looks healthy but hopefully, it'll start to die off after a couple more weeks of GFO.

    Next up is vacuuming the sand and sending the output through the filter sock. Then after the water has cleared up, tossing the filter sock.

    I also need to do a full set of water tests. I'll post the results of that. Hopefully, this evening.

    @Flagg37 That sounds good! Playing "what if" on a big tank and interesting occupants is fun. One day!
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  14. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I'd be careful siphoni the sand through a filter sock. Better to do a water change w that. Going to stir up a lot of nasties and cause an ammonia spike.
    Cymen likes this.
  15. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    That makes sense -- I meant to reply earlier but I read your reply before I tried it. Thanks!

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